Centaurus Metals – (ASX: CTM, Share Price: $0.52, Market Cap: $168m, coverage initiated @ $0.135 in May 2017 – current gain of 285%).
Significant thick semi-massive to massive nickel sulphide intercepts from infill and extensional drilling at Jaguar Central Deposit, along with thick, shallow high-grade nickel at Jaguar North.
CTM is reaping the rewards of maintaining focused exploration activity, following its recent company-making acquisition of Vale’s 100%-owned Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project in Brazil. Jaguar represents an at-surface nickel sulphide project, where a maiden JORC 2012-compliant resource of 48.0mt @ 1.08% Ni for 517,500 tonnes of nickel, has just been announced. The Jaguar Deposit is unique in the nickel sulphide space, as the high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation comes almost to surface, whilst also continuing at depth. More than 80% of the nickel metal in the maiden Resource lies within 200m of surface, demonstrating the strong open-pit potential of the Project. Jaguar is already one of the largest near-surface undeveloped nickel sulphide projects in the world and CTM’s deepest hole to date extends to a depth of just 300m, which in a nickel sulphide context means CTM has only just scratched the surface.
Jaguar Nickel Project Update
As CTM continues its drilling campaign at its 100%-owned Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project in Brazil’s Carajás Mineral Province, it has released further encouraging results from its Jaguar Central and Jaguar North Deposits.
Jaguar drilling continues to deliver a consistent flow of high-quality, shallow intersections of semi-massive and massive nickel sulphides that support, and are likely to enhance, CTM’s recent maiden JORC 2012 Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 48.0Mt at 1.08% Ni for 517,500 tonnes of contained nickel. A number of the new assay results have come from extensional and step-out drill holes that were not included in the June 2020 MRE and are expected to help build on the existing MRE.
Jaguar Central Deposit
CTM has generated significant thick semi-massive to massive nickel sulphide intercepts from the latest extensional and in-fill drilling, with the relevant holes and assay highlights comprising:
JAG-DD-20-056 – 33.7m at 2.23% Ni, 0.12% Cu and 0.04% Co from 45.6m – including 10.4m at 3.35% Ni, 0.20% Cu and 0.06% Co from 45.6m, and 15.5m at 2.53% Ni, 0.23% Cu and 0.04% Co from 63.8m.
JAG-DD-20-057 – 15.0m at 2.42% Ni, 0.13% Cu and 0.05% Co from 69.0m – including 6.0m at 3.34% Ni, 0.21% Cu and 0.06% Co from 78.0m; and 8.2m at 1.22% Ni, 0.09% Cu and 0.03% Co from 91.8m.
The results in hole JAG-DD-20-056 are significant, with mineralisation located precisely where the DHEM conductor plate suggested the possible existence of semi-massive to massive sulphides. Drill-hole JAG-DD-057 was drilled targeting the north-west extension of the interpreted ore body at Jaguar Central and a FLEM plate generated from the company’s survey work. Significantly, this assay result was not included in the June 2020 MRE.
CTM has also undertaken step-out drilling at the Jaguar Central Deposit, with the relevant holes and assay highlights comprising:
Hole JAG-DD-20-049 – 5.4m at 1.08% Ni, 0.02% Cu and 0.04% Co from 26.1m and 16.7m at 0.49% Ni, 0.03% Cu and 0.02% Co from 37.8m.
Hole JAG-DD-20-51 – 11.2m at 1.35% Ni, 0.08% Cu and 0.12% Co from 54.7m and 59.6m at 0.95% Ni, 0.06% Cu and 0.02% Co from 83.0m.
Importantly, the DHEM and FLEM plates on these sections, and multiple adjacent sections, show that the semi-massive and massive sulphide mineralisation remains open at depth.
Figure 1: The Jaguar Central and North Deposits with DHEM conductor plates (blue) and FLEM plates (light blue) overlaid on the Ground Magnetics Survey results (Analytic Signal)
Jaguar North Deposit
CTM has generated consistent, thick and shallow high-grade nickel sulphide intersections from in-fill drilling, with the relevant holes and assay highlights comprising:
Hole JAG-DD-20-052 – 8.5m at 0.76 % Ni, 0.08% Cu and 0.02% Co from 109.8m.
Hole JAG-DD-20-053 – 4.0m at 1.08 % Ni, 0.11% Cu and 0.04% Co from 121.5m and 14.0m at 1.32% Ni, 0.16% Cu and 0.04% Co from 140.5m.
Hole JAG-DD-20-55 – 11.0m at 1.38% Ni, 0.14% Cu and 0.04% Co from 97.0m.
The mineralisation occurs over 400m of strike, with multiple zones of stringer to semi-massive and massive sulphides up to 25m wide, which extend from surface to more than 200m depth and remain open at depth and along strike.
The latest assays included some of the best drilling results generated from the Jaguar Project to date, suggesting further near-term increases to the existing Mineral Resource, whilst also underlining the prospects for development of a high-margin nickel sulphide mine – given the thick, high-grade nature of the mineralization that extends from surface and remains open at depth. The highlight is the intercept of 33.7m at 2.23% Ni at Jaguar Central, which occurs from just 46m depth.
Many of the latest results reported will boost the high-grade component of the company’s Mineral Resource, which hosts an estimated 321kt of contained nickel at a grade of more than 1.5% Ni – with more than 70% of the high-grade resource located within 200m of surface and amenable to extraction via open-pit mining. CTM’s maiden Resource Estimate announced in June contains more than 500,000 tonnes of nickel at an average grade of over 1.0% Ni.
With a third diamond rig to be reactivated over the next few weeks, and all three diamond rigs to recommence double-shift operations, CTM is aiming to boost the Indicated component of the Mineral Resource via in-fill drilling, while also testing a number of the deeper targets where DHEM Conductor plates extend well below the depth of current drilling and are likely to represent semi-massive and massive sulphides.
CTM is moving ahead in leaps and bounds with respect to its Jaguar project, a fact reflected in the company’s strong share price performance. The first major milestone for the company was the delivery of its maiden Jaguar JORC 2012-compliant MRE, which is really just the start. Ongoing drilling is showing that the mineralisation extends from shallow depths and along strike, is thick, high-grade and consistent. The key is the near-surface nature of the mineralsation – with 80% of the current Resource lying within 200m of surface – meaning mining, costs and grades are more akin to that of an open-pit gold operation.
From a bigger picture perspective, the Jaguar project provides CTM with the opportunity to pursue development of an advanced and well-located nickel sulphide project that offers high-grade open-pit development potential. Nickel sulphide deposits like Jaguar are extremely rare globally and for CTM to be able to successfully acquire such an asset is a game-changer.
CTM has risen strongly since initiation we note recent broker reports with share price targets for CTM of between $0.62 and $0.95 per share.